It was narrated on the authority of Ibn Umar (May Allah be pleased with him and his father) that Allah’s Messenger (ﷺ) said, “Whoever misses the `Asr prayer (intentionally) then it is as if he lost his family and property.”
If the time of the prayer passes, and the person knew and intended to miss the prayer and he didn’t have a legislative excuse then he is in sin and to be blamed.
Is this ruling exclusive for the Asr prayer? Meaning the one that missing the Dhur prayer or the Maghrib and Isha prayers intentionally, is there any blame upon him? Yes! He is also considered in sin and blameworthy. Asr was mentioned specifically here to stress the importance of it.
It also came in the narration in the Musnad of Imaam Ahmad, “the one that misses the Asr prayer intentionally until the setting of the Sun, it is as if he lost his family and property.” But this wording is based on Hajaaj ibn Arqamah and he is weak in hadith. And further, he has opposed (in his wording of this hadith) those that are more trustworthy in hadith than him, even if the meaning is correct.
Furthermore, the scholars have clarified that the ruling is based on one’s intention to miss the prayer. As for the one that forgot, was sleeping or was prevented from praying by a legislated excuse, there is no blame on him.
As for the statement, “it is as if he lost his family and property” meaning they were taken from him leaving him all alone. While some mentioned it means a deduction in one or both of them. This being from the greatest of tragedies, leaving him with nothing and all alone. For example, a person has family and wealth. He goes through live with ease. He may have one or more wives, children, plenty of wealth and a big beautiful house. Then let’s say one day the house collapses or catches fire and burns down and all his family was inside and they all die and all his wealth was inside. What state of mind would this person be in after this great tragedy. All of his family and wealth was taken from him at once leaving him all alone. Some people would loose their minds and go insane. We ask Allah for protection and safety.
So the one that missed the Asr prayer intentionally until the time passed, his state is as if he has lost his entire family and all his wealth. This explains the severity of the sin and the greatness of this tragedy that will descend upon this person. And it is a warning for all the Muslims to safeguard the Asr prayer. As most of those that miss the Asr prayer today are:
The one that goes out to work and returns tired and perhaps tells his family, “do not disturb me I am very tired.” Then he sleeps through the Asr prayer on purpose, until the Sun sets.
The other returns from his work, eats lunch, sits in front of the television, then hears the adhan and doesn’t move. He stays watching his shows and talking to his wife and kids as the people start to come out of their homes to go to the salaat but he continues watching TV. From four o’clock till five o’clock, relaxed and comfortable until he goes to sleep not thinking about the prayer until the Sun sets.
And the third one prays but not in it’s proper time. He joins his Dhur prayer with the Asr prayer, saying he’s combining the prayers for his Qat chewing session (جمع التخزين). This is also considered missing, or wasting the prayer because it was prayed before it’s time.
While the fourth, perhaps goes out to work at 8:30 in the morning (and because of his work) doesn’t pray his prayers in there proper times. And this happens alot with the women, if she works for a company or teaches in the schools or is busy in the market place. She leaves out then the time of the prayer comes in and she says, “oh there is nowhere to pray”, so she delays her prayer till she returns home. All of these people are considered sinful. While some may be traveling by car and the likes of this, causing them to miss their prayers, intentionally. While some of them may be at a gathering, specifically in the lands of disbelief, then the time for the prayer comes and they need to leave to go pray but they say, “we are not able to leave.” This is obligatory upon you, get up and go pray! And all the different circumstances like these.
Some of the scholars have said that the one that leaves off one prayer has disbelieved. This is a very serious matter.
However missing the Asr prayer isn’t like missing other prayers because the majority of the time when the Asr prayer comes in people are awake after having rested from their midday nap, then he misses Asr. Likewise Asr is usually during his work and he is normally trying to hurry up and finish before night fall so he works straight through the time missing Asr. Contrary to the Maghrib prayer as it usually comes in while the person is tired from work, perhaps causing him to be unaware (of the time). Likewise Isha he is unaware, likewise Fajr he is unaware and Dhuhr. Unlike Asr he is well rested, he has eaten and he’s engaged in his work, then he leaves off the prayer.
And Allah’s aid is sought.
Benefited from: Shaikh Abu Abdillah Muhammad Ba Jamaal (May Allah preserve him)
Translated by: Abu Yusuf Bilal ibn Howard Robinson